As I pace down the cobblestone streets, I feel groggy and disoriented. My jetlag is still kicking in and I don’t think I can handle anything other than a siesta. I climb onto the marble bench on the fountain facing the enormous Giralda tower and I can feel the coolness of the marble against my legs. The heat of the bright sun shining down on my face marks a sharp contrast in temperature but I appreciate the warmth on this breezy Tuesday morning. Almost instantly, I feel my fatigue fading away and a sense of calm wraps around me like a warm blanket. Here I am, sitting in the middle of the Plaza del Triunfo in Seville, and all my lethargy has been replaced with a serene, peaceful feeling, all attributed to my surroundings.
Unlike cities around the world that are always in a state of hustle and bustle, Seville is a destination where I can always come to relax without making many plans. It’s as simple as sitting at a tapas bar and soaking up the city life around me. With a glass of sangria and a few bites of tortilla Española, I’m a state of sheer bliss.
There’s just something so special about hearing the cathedral bells chime as the horse-drawn buggies click clack down the historic streets. This mixture of old-world traditions mingles effortlessly with the modern twist of the city as cars and motorcycles hum by on the streets. Citizens, both young and old, act like characters on a movie set as they kick the pavements of what seems to be a backdrop for a foreign film.
With no plans in mind, I can get lost in the detailed architecture of the buildings. The sunny shades of oranges and yellows on the buildings contrast with the brown and red tones of the historic landmarks in the city center, all while maintaining perfect harmony and painting the city in a color that harmonizes with the vibrant culture.
As I linger along the lively streets of Seville, I stumble upon the Museo del Baile Flamenco on the Manuel Rojas Marcos street. A brightly colored sign outside the museum reads “Hoy: Show Flamenco.” That’s the beauty of this city: a simple walk along the winding roads can lead you anywhere or nowhere at all, with any of these outcomes being a favorable. Five minutes later, I sit inside the first and only flamenco museum in the world, all while sipping a full-bodied glass of Tempranillo wine.
The seats around me are occupied by a large group of American tourists, all traveling in couples. I make friends with one couple from New York as we discuss the exhibitions in the museum and what they had done while in Seville. I understand that this couple is on the same boat that I am: just taking in the city, one sight at a time. “We were walking and we saw the museum,” said the wife, Julie. “When we came in, the girl said there would be a show tonight. So we just got tickets.” Being forty years old and traveling nonchalantly through Seville with her husband, Mark, I know this couple has a passion for leisure and experiencing the untapped wonders of this city.
After the show is over and I say my goodbyes to my new friends, I start thinking about what they have shared with me. These are different types of travelers. By absorbing the atmosphere, they bask in the therapeutic ambiance. They discover. They wander. They know the secret to Seville- don’t plan, just do.